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J. Zool. Bot. Gard., Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2020) – 6 articles

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Editorial
Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens—Open Access Journal Devoted to Ex Situ Research and Conservation of our Planet’s Biodiversity
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 76-79; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010006 - 05 Dec 2020
Viewed by 767
Abstract
I am delighted to launch a new open access journal devoted to ex situ research and conservation of our planet’s biodiversity [...] Full article
Article
Physiological Effects of Low Salinity Exposure on Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 61-75; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010005 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1739
Abstract
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have a worldwide distribution in temperate and tropical waters and often inhabit estuarine environments, indicating their ability to maintain homeostasis in low salinity for limited periods of time. Epidermal and biochemical changes associated with low salinity exposure [...] Read more.
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) have a worldwide distribution in temperate and tropical waters and often inhabit estuarine environments, indicating their ability to maintain homeostasis in low salinity for limited periods of time. Epidermal and biochemical changes associated with low salinity exposure have been documented in stranded bottlenose dolphins; however, these animals are often found severely debilitated or deceased and in poor condition. Dolphins in the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program travel globally, navigating varied environments comparable to those in which free-ranging dolphins are observed. A retrospective analysis was performed of medical records from 46 Navy dolphins and blood samples from 43 Navy dolphins exposed to a variety of salinity levels for different durations over 43 years (from 1967–2010). Blood values from samples collected during low salinity environmental exposure (salinity ranging from 0–30 parts per thousand (ppt) were compared to samples collected while those same animals were in a seawater environment (31–35 ppt). Epidermal changes associated with low salinity exposure were also assessed. Significant decreases in serum sodium, chloride, and calculated serum osmolality and significant increases in blood urea nitrogen and aldosterone were observed in blood samples collected during low salinity exposure. Epidermal changes were observed in 35% of the animals that spent time in low salinity waters. The prevalence of epidermal changes was inversely proportional to the level of salinity to which the animals were exposed. Future work is necessary to fully comprehend the impacts of low salinity exposure in bottlenose dolphins, but the physiological changes observed in this study will help improve our understanding of the upper limit of duration and the lower limit of salinity in which a bottlenose dolphin can maintain homeostasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cetaceans: Conservation, Health, and Welfare)
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Article
Dolphin Welfare Assessment under Professional Care: ‘Willingness to Participate’, an Indicator Significantly Associated with Six Potential ‘Alerting Factors’
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 42-60; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010004 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1538
Abstract
In dolphinaria, dolphins and their trainers build relationships and bonds due to the nature, closeness and repeatability of their interactions, hence training sessions are deemed appropriate to evaluate dolphin welfare. Qualitative Behavioural Assessments (QBAs) have been used to study human–animal relationships and are [...] Read more.
In dolphinaria, dolphins and their trainers build relationships and bonds due to the nature, closeness and repeatability of their interactions, hence training sessions are deemed appropriate to evaluate dolphin welfare. Qualitative Behavioural Assessments (QBAs) have been used to study human–animal relationships and are included in several animal welfare assessments. We introduce here the first QBA aiming to analyse dolphin–trainer interactions during training sessions in terms of dolphin welfare. Our results show that “Willingness to Participate” (WtP) was significantly associated to six other parameters: high-speed approach, high level of excitement, high number of positive responses to trainers’ signals, rare refusal to perform certain behaviours, rare spontaneous departure behaviours and fast approach once the trainer entered into the pool. Therefore, we suggest using WtP and those “alerting factors” when assessing dolphin–trainer interactions under professional care. The evaluation should also consider the time of day, the dolphin’s age, trainer experience level, the nature of the training sessions and to a lesser extent the sex of the dolphins, as contributing and modulating factors. The factor eye contact has been used in various HARs studies and has been proven to be a valid indicator in welfare research works, hence potentially deserving further research. These results demonstrate the pertinence and feasibility of this approach, the ease of use of this methodology by professionals in zoo/aquarium settings and the appropriateness of the obtained results within the holistic frame of animal welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cetaceans: Conservation, Health, and Welfare)
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Article
Social, Reproductive and Contextual Influences on Fecal Glucocorticoid Metabolites in Captive Yangtze Finless Porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) and Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 24-41; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010003 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1261
Abstract
Although the use of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGCM) measurements as non-invasive biomarkers for the stress response in mammals has increased, few studies have been conducted in odontocetes. We investigated if animal sex, age, pregnancy or contextual variations (season, sampling time, enrichment, social separation [...] Read more.
Although the use of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGCM) measurements as non-invasive biomarkers for the stress response in mammals has increased, few studies have been conducted in odontocetes. We investigated if animal sex, age, pregnancy or contextual variations (season, sampling time, enrichment, social separation and presence of visitors) influenced the FGCM concentrations in presumably healthy, captive and endangered Yangtze finless porpoises (YFPs, N = 4) and bottlenose dolphins (BDs, N = 3). For YFPs, the FGCM concentrations were influenced by season (p = 0.01), diurnal variation (p = 0.01) and pregnancy (p = 0.005). Contextual variables that were associated with increases in FGCM concentrations included social separations (p = 0.003) and numbers of visitors (p = 0.0002). Concentrations of FGCMs were lower (p = 0.001) after exposure to environmental enrichment. For BDs, enrichment was associated with reduced concentrations of FGCMs (p < 0.0001). The presence of visitors also influenced this species’ FGCM concentrations (p = 0.006). These results demonstrate that changes in the FGCM concentrations in YFPs and BDs may occur in response to contextual and social changes. In combination with other behavioral and physiological assessments, measurements of FGCMs may be a useful tool for monitoring cetacean welfare. Such monitoring may help researchers identify and better understand situations that may be stressful for animals and, therefore, improve management and husbandry. Furthermore, results from our study and inferences of the FGCM concentrations in cetaceans, and their potential relationship to stress, may be extrapolated to studies of free-ranging animals, which may help detect possible environmental or anthropogenic stressors that could be affecting these populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cetaceans: Conservation, Health, and Welfare)
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Review
Challenges and Directions in Zoo and Aquarium Food Presentation Research: A Review
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 13-23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010002 - 06 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1905
Abstract
From its foundations in agricultural science, zoo animal nutrition has developed into a biologically informed, evidence-based discipline. However, some facets of nutrition still make use of a more traditional approach, such as the field of zoo presentation. For example, it is common practice [...] Read more.
From its foundations in agricultural science, zoo animal nutrition has developed into a biologically informed, evidence-based discipline. However, some facets of nutrition still make use of a more traditional approach, such as the field of zoo presentation. For example, it is common practice to prepare animal diets by chopping them into bite-size chunks, yet there is limited peer-reviewed evidence that explains the benefits and welfare implications of this practice. The chopping and placement of foods can alter desiccation rates, nutrient breakdown, and food contamination, so it is important to evaluate the implications of current practices. Here, the published literature on the behavioral impacts of different food presentation formats (such as clumped and scattered, and chopped and whole) is reviewed, with reference to a range of taxa. The current state of knowledge of the nutritional and microbiological effects of food presentation practices are also reviewed. Relevant research is available on the behavioral effects of some forms of zoo food presentation; however, relatively little research has been conducted on their nutrient composition effects or desiccation rates. Similarly, there are gaps in terms of the species that have been investigated, with a few mammalian taxa dominating the food presentation literature. Future research projects covering social, behavioral, and welfare impacts, and the nutritional and microbiological consequences of food presentation would further evidence-based zoo and aquarium management practices. Similarly, qualitative research surrounding keeper perception of food presentation formats would help to identify challenges and opportunities in this field. Full article
Article
Seasonal and Daily Activity of Two Zoo-Housed Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis)
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 1-12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010001 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1883
Abstract
Captive grizzly bears, like their wild counterparts, engage in considerable variability in their seasonal and daily activity. We documented the year-long activity of two grizzly bears located at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. We found that behaviors emerged in relation to [...] Read more.
Captive grizzly bears, like their wild counterparts, engage in considerable variability in their seasonal and daily activity. We documented the year-long activity of two grizzly bears located at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. We found that behaviors emerged in relation to month-to-month, seasonal, and time of day (hour-to-hour) observations, and events that occurred on exhibit, such as daily feedings. Seventeen behaviors split into seven classes of behavior were observed during their on-exhibit time over a 13-month period. Inactivity was the most frequent class of responses recorded, with most inactive behaviors occurring during the winter months. Both stereotypic and non-stereotypic activity emerged during the spring and summer months, with stereotypic activity occurring most frequently in the morning and transitioning to non-stereotypic activity in the latter part of the day. Results are discussed with respect to how captive grizzly bear behaviors relate to their natural seasonal and daily activity, as well as how events, such as feeding times and enrichment deliveries, can be used to optimize overall captive bear welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Science of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare)
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